While we wait for exciting new PS5 and Xbox Series X games, we have some top-quality remastered games to tide us over. Between titles like Demon’s Souls, Nioh Remastered, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, some of our favorite games from previous generations now look — and play — better than ever.
This got the Tom’s Guide staff thinking: Which classic games would we like to replay with a fresh coat of paint? A high-quality remaster can fix bugs, improve graphics, streamline gameplay and even restore content that developers had to cut the first time around.
We’ve assembled ten of our favorite titles that deserve another look on modern consoles and PCs.
I hear you: Bloodborne was a masterpiece from the PS4 era, which isn’t that far back. You can technically play Bloodborne on your PS5 right now (and I highly recommend that you do!). But, I’d like to see a proper remaster for the new console, complete with upscaled resolution, textures and frame rate. Bloodborne’s greatest weakness is that it’s currently locked to 30 fps, and once you play a Souls or Souls-like game at 60 fps, it’s hard to go back. I also hope against all hope that Sony ports the game to PC, like it did for Horizon Zero Dawn. A man can dream about having the entire Soulsborne franchise and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in his Steam library, can’t he? – Jordan Palmer
Bushido Blade 1 & 2
Bushido Blade put a totally different spin on the fighting game genre, with weapon-wielding warriors squaring off in giant environments. You had the choice of standing to fight or running away in shame, as well as mechanics that allowed one-hit kills, wounds that could change the course of a fight and a Bushido-based honor system that actually impacted the course of the game.
The original Bushido Blade was a PS1 exclusive, and got one sequel a year later. But now that we’ve seen samurai duels rendered in stunning 4K in Ghost of Tsushima, all I really want is an updated Bushido Blade with an optional Kurosawa filter. — Brian Westover
God of War Saga
God of War (2018) recently got a PS5 patch that improves the visuals and frame rate. That’s a good start, but right now, it’s surprisingly difficult to experience Kratos’s earlier adventures on Sony’s newest platform. It’s high time to give us a God of War Remastered collection, similar to God of War Saga on the PS3 — but even more ambitious and comprehensive. Gather up every PS2, PSP and PS3 entry in the series, amp up the graphics and give us some kind of unlockable bonuses. That’s really all this excellent franchise would need. God of War Saga Remastered would also give players who might have missed Chains of Olympus, Ghost of Sparta or Ascension a chance to check out these underrated spinoffs. – Marshall Honorof
Infamous 1 & 2
Before Ghost of Tsushima, Sucker Punch’s first open-world foray was a dark and grim superhero game called Infamous. It featured gruff protagonist Cole McGrath, who acquired electrical superpowers after an explosion leveled the New York-like Empire City. Infamous excelled in giving players a large, traversable metropolis, filled with residents quickly adjusting to a new normal. But beyond the story and setting was the gameplay. As a power, electricity allowed players to grind on power lines and hover over buildings. Just getting from place to place was a joy throughout. But electricity can also be wild and unwieldy, which, much like the setting, made the game feel raw and untamed. The games felt limited on the PlayStation 3’s hardware. But on PlayStation 5, the game could truly excel, with 4K visuals and textures. And the inclusion of ray tracing would make electricity feel all the more real, with every spark reflecting off windows and rain-soaked alleys. – Imad Khan
Jet Set Radio & Jet Set Radio Future
Originally exclusive to the Sega Dreamcast, the two Jet Set Radio games we got were awesome. The premise was original: A gang of rollerblading graffiti artists evading the cops to a futuristic hip-hop soundtrack. The stylized cel-shaded visuals were also innovative for the period.
But the brilliant game had more going for it than just a sweet soundtrack – complete with tracks by Adrock and Mike D of Beastie Boys fame. It was also refreshingly different from the usual violence-focused fare that dominates gaming in general. Alas, Sega doesn’t seem interested in resurrecting the game, and the original team feels they’re too old to make a new one. But even a 4K remaster would be a welcome addition to today’s console scene. — Brian Westover
The Legend of Zelda/Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Nintendo Switch was one of the best games of 2019. This colorful remaster captured everything we loved about Link’s first Game Boy adventure, then married it with a ridiculously charming art style. Nintendo can — and should — do this with other old Zelda games. The original Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link are most in need of a graphical upgrade. The first game is an unqualified classic, replete with memorable bosses, intriguing secrets and a big, interesting world to explore. Zelda II is odder and more experimental: sort of a side-scrolling RPG rather than a top-down adventure game. But it’s high time for a whole new generation of gamers to experience them. – Marshall Honorof
Metroid Prime Trilogy
Somebody, somewhere saw this one coming. It’s no secret that Nintendo likes to forget about its beloved Metroid series. Along with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, these games gave birth to a new genre of game, known as Metroidvanias. While I like most of the Metroid games to varying degrees, my heart belongs to the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Developed by Retro Studios first for the Gamecube and then for the Wii, this trilogy puts you behind Samus Aran’s visor as she explores nearly abandoned locales. They’re lonely, isolated adventures of her against the world. All three games are beautifully crafted, and are legendary in their own rights. Rumors have long pointed to a Switch release, but all have thus far have proven false. With Metroid Prime 4 coming at some point in the future, it’d make a lot of sense for Nintendo to get people ready with the original trilogy. This would make old fans like me happy, and it would also introduce a whole new audience to the franchise. Perhaps this is a lost cause, but please, Nintendo, this long-time Metroid fan is begging you. – Jordan Palmer
Persona 4 Golden
Persona 4 Golden is a wonderful RPG with a great story. In it, you play as a kid who’s moved into a new town. He makes friends to help stop a series of mysterious deaths, and everyone learns some truths about themselves along the way. Its truly excellent characters, though, need to get the care and attention they deserve, not the bare-minimum PC port that Atlus did in the summer of 2020. Strip away the tearing artifacts, performance glitches and choppy running animation, and this game could truly play to its full potential. – Henry T. Casey
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars games recently got a new lease on life, thanks to a exclusivity contract between Lucasfilm and EA that’s finally expired. But as we look forward to a whole new series of adventures in a galaxy far, far away, we should also look back to two of the best Star Wars stories ever told: Knights of the Old Republic and Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. These ambitious RPGs wound the clock back 4,000 years and told a story of Jedi, Sith, Republic and Mandalorians, all at war, and all with conflicting loyalties. A remastered version of KOTOR could improve the graphics, but a remastered version of KOTORII could restore some of the game’s famously cut content — and perhaps pave the way for an eventual KOTOR III. – Marshall Honorof
Tenchu: Stealth Assassins
There was a whole franchise of ninja stealth games under the Tenchu name, but the original PS1 game from 1998 is still the best, in my eyes. It was a pioneering entry in the nascent stealth genre, letting you crawl, climb and silently stalk your way through feudal Japan, carrying out mission after mission that put you into the tabi boots of a shinobi. Sure, there were demons and magic and all sorts of outlandish story elements. But the Tenchu games managed to stay grounded thanks to a collection of game mechanics that emphasized careful planning and stealthy tactics, which ratcheted up the tension to crazy levels.
While modern stealth games have shifted toward open world designs and an ambivalent attitude toward combat, Tenchu’s mission-based approach was arguably the perfect frame for pure stealth gameplay. The emphasis on tactics and patience – not to mention an arsenal of sneaky tricks and ninja gadgets – made it a compelling departure from the usual action-game format, and helped the stealth genre really take off. The fact that it’s been more than a decade since we saw a new Tenchu game is a crying shame. — Brian Westover
Uncharted Golden Abyss
Uncharted Golden Abyss was unfortunately omitted from 2015’s Uncharted compilation, The Nathan Drake Collection. While Naughty Dog’s Arne Meyer did explain why the treasure hunter’s portable adventure didn’t make the cut, it did leave fans feeling irked. Even though Golden Abyss might be considered the weakest of the Uncharted games, that’s like saying a Ford Mustang is unworthy when compared to a Ferrari. Sure, the former doesn’t have all the same speed and ferocity, but it does have heart. Playing through it now, Golden Abyss has the same high-quality story and voice acting that fans expect from an Uncharted game, just smaller. And considering that Sony sold only 16 million PS Vitas, there are millions of fans who have not been able to experience this pint-sized prequel. – Imad Khan
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and its sequel got the PS4 and Xbox One treatment a few years back. While you can’t actually get them anymore, they were great while they lasted. X-Men Legends — an even older series — could also use some current-gen improvements. X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse are action/RPGs in which you assemble a team of your favorite mutants, then do battle against villains like Mystique, Magneto, Mr. Sinister and Apocalypse. Just having the games available on modern platforms would be great, but some online multiplayer capabilities would arguably make these titles even better. They could also pave the way for a long-awaited sequel. – Marshall Honorof